The Pace to the Finish

turtle

It’s one great thing to have “an” understanding of the Sovereignty of God in my life. When it’s our children, we see grasping this truth in their own lives – THAT BRINGS SO MUCH JOY INEXPRESSIBLE.
Let’s talk about God’s creation of Tortoises! It can take a tortoise 5 hours to walk one mile. Methodically they move. One orderly systematic step at a time.

 

We live in an age of speed. To us, faster is better. It is not so with God. God is not impressed with speed. Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us that “the race is not to the swift”. God looks at those who will walk with Him, carefully, deliberately, loyally, faithfully, all the way. Going from strength to strength (Ps. 84:7) from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18). Little by Little! As in Exodus 23:29 -30 and Deuteronomy 7:22 – God had a plan, but specifically said it would not happen in a year, it would be a gradual, and effective process taking longer. It was for the best this way.

 

I love this spiritual application for my children. For their walk with God. I also love how God has used the “little by little” in our own lives with these two boys, to drive us to this very truth to hold onto for every goal they have ever met or continue to reach for. We have believed these things for our boys. And God brings them to their own belief as we see them rest in the Sovereign plans of God. They work heartily to please the Lord. Content and trusting in Him, where He has them. The One who created them for His purpose. Wonderfully created in the womb, God already knowing the full plan, and every single day the pace they would walk onward towards Him. (Psalm 139)

 

As the tortoise, is one of the slowest land animals, created with a purpose – methodically going at his set pace by God’s design, towards the goal, little by little, he makes it.

 

God is pleased with a diligent, persevering character who trusts in his timing as well as His way, His plan. In His time He makes all things beautiful (Ecc. 3:11)  He has a plan and it is good.  As the turtle methodically carries onward, we have seen the unique and special ways in which God has called us to direct our children.  Through special ways, our own methods, etc… to help them thrive the way He designed them to thrive.  It might be different than others, the societal norm, but it is perfectly how God had planned them before the foundations of the earth.

 

The turtle continues on. Persevering doesn’t mean he musters up something EXTRA to pick up the pace and go faster. That’s not how God made him. HE just keeps on keeping on.

 

And that isn’t how God designs His most precious creation, human life. His plan is for his children to persevere, keep moving forward, little by little and EVEN LITTLER AND LITTLER steps for some children. I see that in our boys. As God provides strength to more strength to meet those goals set out for them – the earthly goals in the here and now, but ultimately the goal that is at the forefront of their hearts, minds and souls – the pilgrimage to JESUS forever.

 

Who we believe in and is working step by step to accomplish in us way more than we could ever imagine. (Eph 3:20-21) To Him be the GLORY!  And right on time!

 

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7)

012
By Maximus

 

The Gardener’s Love

 

fruit

When you realize that “ouch” you’ve been feeling is something to rejoice in! The VERY LOVING HAND and PRESENCE of God upon your life…. Pruning season! THIS IS LOVE. I can look at the “ouch” with JOY that the Father is very much present and taking great care, working on my behalf in fulfilling His purpose and plans for me – removing all of no value, and promising to produce what HE knows is so much greater.

 

“….my Father is the gardener, and every branch that bears fruit HE PRUNES, that it may bear more fruit. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit…abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” FROM JOHN 15

 

 

He is so LOVING!! I cried out to Him yesterday in this ongoing “thing” and said “I just really need to feel Your love”…. later that day I sat down I said “Lord, I need to hear from You.” I opened the WORD and somehow “pruning” came to me, as I was reflecting on all these things that He has directed us to change up, remove, etc..etc… and I went to JOHN 15 and I was OH MY GOODNESS… I have so been missing this. THIS HAS been HIS LOVE I HAVE BEEN FEELING THE WHOLE TIME… HOW LOVING HE is to PRUNE away what is not good for me (for my sons) and make way for greater things…. and He says THIS IS MY WORD SPOKEN TO YOU…. THAT MY JOY WILL REMAIN IN YOU. Wow!!! Wow… wow…!! I had been making requests for a good 8 weeks for desires of my heart (You will ask for what you desire and it will be done for you)…. HE HAS BEEN LOVINGLY AND ACTIVELY  PRUNING IN ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS!!! I had been feeling “Ouch, ouch… somethings not right”…. when actually it is quite the contrary.

 

 

Am I In the Place of God?

gods timing

God never forgets His children.  “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6.  Often it doesn’t make sense in my own understanding.   My emotions can often lead me to “feeling” alone.   But we never are.  And God’s WORD and truth of His Sovereignty over His children, always gives me faith to believe that He is working all things together for His good. Rom. 8:28

 

God’s timing kept our family “here” today. And not there.  In my “own” understanding, I felt a sting.  That’s okay because as I trust in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge Him, He will direct my path.  (Prov. 3:5-6).

 

And He so did!

 

If we hadn’t been in the PLACE OF GOD, I wouldn’t have seen this work God wanted to orchestrate so pertinent to His plan specific for our children, for us.  “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and give you a hope”  Jer. 29:11

 

The Lord over ruled my emotions that would have left me feeling “left out” or “forgotten”, even “afraid” and abiding in a lie, I trusted in His Word, that says “In His Time He Makes all things beautiful”.  As He directed our path to the simplicity of a family, morning walk, He made beautiful things happen.  Things way more important than what my emotions and flesh had leaned toward as important, the quick fleshly thinking, right before God’s WORD over ruled all that.

 

The things that matter for eternity.  The things that bring my greatest joy as a mother.  No greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.   1 Jn. 3

 

My Maximus.  He noticed the vines from a very large tree.  “mom, I was reading in my quiet time with God in Genesis, that Joseph was called a fruitful vine”.  To hear this young man, who I pray for daily, seek, seek for wisdom to train him up.   This little boy who absorbs so much, in an instant, whatever he experiences, takes in deeply through the senses, holds onto, and I must seek the Lord how to help him walk through this life to learn how to handle it all and thrive in this special way God made him.

 

The vine.  He absorbed this information, and had the opportunity to share.  There is so much inside of him, the desperate need to share it.  Training him up, in how, when, to manage all that he experiences.   Because we were not “there” today, but IN THE PLACE OF GOD, the Lord revealed this moment to then sit together as a family and apply what this “fruitful vine” really means.

 

You see it was Jacob who was speaking to his sons his last words before parting from this earth.  And Joseph, he recognized  as a “fruitful vine,  a fruitful vine near a spring,  whose branches climb over a wall”  Gen. 49:22  These words were to encourage his son that even in the midst of hostility and conflict, trials, and more,  – that he saw his son  grow and prosper and knew that would be his way of life.  A a vine bearing much fruit.

 

For later Joseph himself declared the recognition of the Sovereignty of God, when he told his brothers, in so many words “it’s all good”.    The difficulty and the places as hard as they were that he was placed in…  even still “Isn’t this the place of God?”  Gen. 50:19-21  Recognizing and giving glory to God who brought it all together for His glorious purposes and good.  It didn’t seem like the right place to be sold into slavery, a far off land, in a lonely time and place.  As it goes, Joseph remained with his faith intact in God.  Trusting in Him and leaning not on his own understanding. In God’s timing He made all things beautiful!

 

What a wonderful thought, not only as me as a mother, but also in celebrating Father’s day tomorrow.  How father and mother, as Jacob left words of encouragement, and speaking blessing into his son, we have this opportunity today, to speak blessing into both our sons.

 

 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  Col. 1:9-12

 

All that concerned my heart today.  The yearnings I know of our boys hearts.  The desires we have, we surrender.  And Believe in the Sovereign One who works all things together for  good, a GOOD that goes way beyond here and now and the things of this earth, but for the things that matter for the PLACE WHERE WE BELONG – ETERNITY- CHRIST’s KINGDOM FOREVER.

 

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil 1:6

 

THE QUESTION IS:  AM I IN THE PLACE OF GOD?

the answer is YES!

 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

John 15:7-9

AND…

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.

Psalm 37:23

 

 

Footnotes:

 

 

 

Special

001

Special children. Special blessings. Child like faith. Sharing, caring, joyful smiles, hugs, encouraging words. Prayers and praises, the loving touches of the Savior – through the lives of special ones. Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, we are weak, but He is strong!

 
At his first birthday what is he doing? Giving away what is his. Reaching to big brother -thinking of him. It is the pattern of his life, to share and care, and BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE with JOY.
I can hardly believe he is nearing 12 in just a couple more weeks. The Joy of the LORD is His strength the scripture God put on my heart so evident at 1.
I will NOT GROW WEARY in doing good, believing in God’s promise that a harvest will be reaped, if I do not lose heart.

 
And just this morning, a story being told in the quiet of chore time – a story that begins at Genesis 1:1, he walks to and fro, on and on working away, and speaking of the glorious creation, step by step, unfolding the words of God, the gifts of the Father, the sin of man, and God’s plan for redemption. He isn’t entertaining, drawing attention, he is in a precious and wonder filled world of a mind and heart and soul focused on the Savior and his gifts.

 

ON this morning I chose REST- I am STILL and ABLE to witness from ear shot God Who gives the most beautiful ABILITY. Child like faith. No greater joy do I have than to hear that my children walk in the truth. God is GRACIOUS to give good gifts to me and right when He knows my “mommy” heart needs an extra touch of encouragement. He is GRACIOUS. HE IS LOVE – HE IS ABLE.

 

Happy almost 12th birthday to our gift of Maximus.

Hurdles – the Need Is Great

hurdle

 

THE NEED IS GREAT.

“and my God will supply ALL YOUR NEED…”  Phil. 4:19

I look at the challenging circumstances of life.  The life of motherhood as well as the other many all encompassing issues of life, and I often see a gigantic obstacle course, full of hurdles.  Massive hurdles going every direction.  One after another after another.

THE NEED IS GREAT.  To discern the attitudes of the heart.*   To decipher between an attitude of the heart and what is not an issue of the heart.   The need for coping skills, a new strategy to overcome, methods, direction,  ways to aide in helping make one’s life thrive well for the glory of God.  Leading the way to help him, operate best, to flow in a manner that brings God glory, within the dynamics of  the intricate  neurological way in which one’s mind ticks.  This is a great challenge for me.

Every challenge I have ever faced in my life, has been the catalyst to draw me nearer to abiding in God’s Word.   Nearer to seeking Him in prayer.  Minute by minute and morning, noon, night. As I look to the obstacle “course” of life, rather than fear, in HOW?  I can rejoice that this will indeed make me stronger.  Abiding in the presence of Jesus always makes us strong.   Who wants to be strong?  I do!

” Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so

that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of

NEED”

Hebrews 4:16

It seems I often face at least 100 hurdles in a day.  I have leaped over one, I rejoice!  I have leaped over another one, I rejoice!  Often the next one is right in front of me almost simultaneously.  I have rejoiced and then I feel the energy has gone out of me, drained, and unprepared – HOW?

Humility.  I confess, in the moment on the spot in the moment of the NEED, I am WEAK Oh Lord.  And simultaneously, in confidence, I confess in thanksgiving, and claim His promise.  I thank You Lord for Your promise, YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME.  YOUR POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.**  How Lord do I proceed at this very moment? And yet, confident that HE is truly there and ready to supply.  The wisdom is given.***  I have been given the promise of His strength, I jump the hurdle, I rejoice again!

When mental, emotional, physical exhaustion come after the hurdle is jumped… AGAIN

It is time again to ask for wisdom.  IS THIS AN ATTITUDE OF THE HEART?  IS THIS a NEED for a STRATEGIC TOOL, PLAN, HELP, AIDE, COPING SKILL, REDIRECTION?  With my attitude confident in His mercy and grace, as I come boldly again and again and again, into His throne room.  Often right there on the spot before I would lose patience, in the middle of doing dishes, in the middle of communication that I do not understand, confessing I AM WEAK, BUT I REJOICE BECAUSE YOU PROMISE THAT YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME, YOUR POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.

He provides!   And again, I REJOICE IN HIS POWER TO SUPPLY THIS NEED!

It’s HOW I truly live.  My sinner’s heart is prone to wander.  Fear, need for assurance, approval of men, security (need to know everything is going to be okay) in an instant can consume and overwhelm me when I look at the weaving of hurdles so massive all around and before.  These needs when in desperation are attempted to be met apart from Christ, are idols.  God is jealous for my heart.  All of me!  He provides my need for forgiveness,  as I repent, again when I have turned elsewhere and His word draws me back to Him.  I abide in Him, HE SUPPLIES ALL MY NEED.  He wants me.  He needs nothing from me.  He is my need.  I am filled by Him, and FREE by the power of HIS love to give, give, give, and give some more, as the vessel emptied again, of me, to work through to meet the needs.

God has me look behind.  Only to remember.  The hurdle a few minutes ago that He gave strength again to overcome.  The hurdles 5, 10, 15, years ago.  The abundance.  Remembering every prayer  brought into His throne room, and the mercy and grace He has lavished on me in my time of need.  Remember the men and women, of times past.  Moses, Gideon, so many.  In weakness of men, and in faithfulness of God, overcame massive hurdles.  Parting of a sea,  journey through a long parched dessert, overcoming giants.  He provided all their needs.  HE is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

I look to the cross.  Where I am reminded of the great love and power that overcame for me.  Not keeping my eyes fixed here,  on what I see here and now in the hurdle after hurdle, but ultimately the cross, and fixing on the joy of what is NOT seen, in the beautiful, eternal purposes God is working out as we press on. ****

 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Cor. 4:18

His great love that adopted me,  just because He wanted to.  Not because of anything I have done, or earned, gives me so much strength.  Chosen, approved, accepted, loved, and secure.  No matter how crazy, or messy the obstacle “course” of life appears, whether it be in motherhood, or any issue of life, along with all that encompasses my walk in this world, and the challenges I face as it grows darker day by day,  His love motivates me.  Yes, MOTIVATES, energizes, me…

to:

LOVE DEEPER

STAND FIRMER on HIS EVERY WORD

RELY ON HIM, HIM, HIM, CHRIST ALONE more FULLY

I am always brought to new tears, when God rids me of myself, and causes me to comprehend a new level of HIS GREAT LOVE he has for me.  I pray you too, have experienced the great love of the Father.  He is jealously yearning for all your heart.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

1 Jn. 3:1

This great love He has lavished is through the gift of His son.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Jn. 3:16

“Repent, then, and TURN TO GOD, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”  Acts 3:19

 

 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Heb 4:12

**But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Cor. 12:9-10

***If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  James 1:5-6

****So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor. 4:18

Journey to the Secret Place

097

 

 

Two years ago Joe and the boys discovered this place.  It’s a bit of a journey to get there.  A somewhat  dark tunnel with creek waters running through.  Up a steep embankment with some crumbly but not dangerous rocks, a lengthy walk onward, down a very rugged somewhat steep embankment to a cliff and a perfect pad of rock just the right size for our family to bask in the beauty of God’s creation.  All to ourselves.  Well except for  some fish, crawdads, dragonflies, ducks, geese, but never another human ever to be seen.  Joe mentioned yesterday when we arrived there for our first journey of the summer heat – (pushing 100 degrees), “think about it.   When God created the world, and this VERY spot, he was thinking of us.  And knew this would be a place He would take us to, and that our family would rejoice in.  A gift from the Father.”

 

The only tricky part of this whole thing… is me and anxiety.  I’ve gone here before.  I’ve made it.  But it hasn’t been easy at all.   Something about that dim tunnel, just gets me every time.  And the terrain it’s a bit rugged, it does tire me.  This time.  I wanted this to be different . Rather than pushing through and getting it done with my teeth clenched, I desperately desired with all my heart for God to do a work so holy to make me peaceful in this whole process.

 

In His word He spoke to me.  One important reminder stuck out.  FEED on His FAITHFULNESS.  He has been so faithful to me.  Even in my darkest moments of living.  So feed on it.  Feed my mind with thoughts, and truths of how faithful He is – He goes before me.  He surrounds with angels, He is with me in darkness….

 

I arrived at the the tunnel yesterday, and I paused, snuck away into a private place for a moment to pray, as the anxiety was coming fiercely.  “Lord you say delight myself in YOU and You will give me the desires of my heart.  I want to go on this journey with my family.  The desire of my heart is I go on this journey in peace.”

012

 

 

I walked into the tunnel and I had peace.  Peace when I focused on the LIGHT at the end.  Truly that light ahead, and focusing simply on that – made all THE difference!!!   “…that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9.   No turning to the right or the left to see potential creepy things.  Not looking down to consider or think about what could be underneath me.  Believing His angels that go before and behind were literally there.  As well as the gift of my husband’s hand to hold.  That intentional focus on the light truly saved me.  And gave me peace that I have never experienced when walking through this dark place.

 

I then had to tackle some rugged terrain.  But what I found was key to moving through it, and not tiring, or depleting, or wearing out, was my pace!  My guys were patient in my step by step moves.  I paused as I needed, took in some extra breaths and rest along the way.  A steady, yet slower pace, resting along the way.  Keeping my eyes on the reward.  How pertinent to our walk with the Savior.  So patient in our process, giving us time.  As we persevere on, learning to rest in Him, on the journey to eternity forever.

018

 

We made it again to this beautiful place .  This time, was the most beautiful of all times.  For this truly was the LORD – all the LORD!  Giving me the desire of my heart.  Trusting in Him.  Faithful to His Word.  Peace.

101
We spent the day on a little ledge just under the cliff straight ahead

 

 

041
Maximus skimming for life. He found some!

100

050

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The guys had named this place the SECRET SPOT.  However, they were in agreement to rename it, THE SECRET PLACE.  AS I read pieces of Psalms 91

He who dwells in the SECRET PLACE of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust…

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge…

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness...

 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

021
This was just after I climbed up our first little tricky, rugged hill

062

Focus on  Jesus – the LIGHT – He saves! Out of darkness of my sin, He saved me.  In the daily journey with Him, He saves me!    Pace myself with rest along the journey.   “he gives rest to the weary”  Isaiah 40:29 .  Take it step by step.  Each step is one more step toward the reward.  Receive the peace of the Savior.  Through His ever faithful every WORD.

And now… I pray…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”  Romans 15:13